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Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:23 pm
by kiapa
we have a 3 yr old genie 12-150. it's only got 60 hours on it... as i just can't seem to get it to work properly. this post might better belong on SAR-V3 page, as the diesel engine starts great, runs great, stops fine, runs at temp, etc. current limit has been set, and highest observed output is right around 100 amps.
generally, output fluctuates in range of about 40 to 100 amps (i.e. current ramps, then falls, then ramps, etc). i've never observed "bulk" charge status. it always seems to start in "absorb" mode, independent of battery condition. i have coaxed it to "float" a couple of times. sometimes (2 runs out of 3), we'll get intermittent error conditions. most common is "can't turn on field". we also see "can't turn off field". sometimes it will alternate between these two error conditions. on one or two occasions, i've gotten output to behave predictably with a certain specific set of condtions: batteries up, battery voltage taken down to < 12.5v with a big load (fridge compressor), then genie turned on. in this case, we get nice ramp to 14.4v, the regulator will appropriately compensate for the addition/subtraction of big loads (+/-55 amps with a vaccuum cleaner on inverter), and the regulator will eventually go to "float". ironically, the greater the need (lower battery condition), the worse the system performs. i just retraced wiring (for the nth time), and it does appear to be wired exactly per the manual.

adding to the mystery for me, is that we use a (separate) SAR-V3 with a DAC to regulate alternators on two main engines. This system works fine, port engine or starboard or both (with > 500 hours on each engine).

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:29 am
by kiapa
will measurements help?

parallel n/a
on/off 0,0,13.86
ground 0,0,0
B+ 12.58, 12.57, 14.55
field 0,0, ranged from 6.2 to 7.8, mostly bouncing between 6.6-7.2
alt gnd 0,0,-.48
lock n/a
bat volts 12.58, 12.57, 14.55
t- 0,0,0
t+ 2.86, 2.86, 2.86
abs n/a
error n/a
status n/a
limit 12.58, 12.57, 14.55

is the v-drop at alternator ground a problem??

for 5 minutes after measurements, voltage bounced between 14.1 and 14.6 volts. there was some pulsation while taking measurements, but i couldn't keep track of it during that brief window.

we've been AP customers for more than 10 years -- 3 big alternators, 3 regulators, 1 dac, 2 cross charge regulators, and a genie. just can't figure this one out. please help!
s/v kiapa

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:35 am
by kiapa
fired up main engines after taking measurements (reg'd by SAR-v3 and DAC).
voltage ramped nicely to 14.6v and remained exactly there. no fluctuations.

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:47 pm
by Coulomb
This kind of problem is related to the voltage sense line, or the gnd return. If the current from the alternator is flowing through the sense connections, then the system starts chasing itself. The high current drives up the sensed voltage so high that the regulator completely turns off the field and waits for the voltage to fall below the setpoint. The oscillations can be a few times a second, or take several seconds.

To correct the problem make sure that alternator current is not flowing through sense terminals.

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:02 pm
by kiapa
the relevant bits are connected in a Y.
the three legs of the Y are:
about 3' of 0000 going from battery to PD
about 8' of 00 going from alternator to PD
about 2' of #2 going from a fuse panel to PD
then, B+, BV, and limit are connected to the fuse panel (and hence thru the #2 & 0000 to the battery).
does this sound OK? or must BV be rerouted and connected directly to battery? it's a very clean, tidy install as it currently sits.

while checking every wire again, i disconnected the spade connector on the FIELD wire at the alternator. i checked to make sure it was clean. all looked ok. i reconnected it, and rerouted that wire slightly (a few inches) coming in a smooth arc around the 00 coming from alternator and back into the harness. after this one & only change, i am now seeing much much stabler output. i've had 3 runs, 2 from pretty high battery, one from down about 150AH (of 600 total AH). early a.m. at about 56F i got steady 14.5V, and then smooth transition to float. no V oscillation. in afternoon & evening (cabin temp around 70F), i got steady 14.3V and steady 14.4V with smooth transitions to float, respectively. no error messages in last 5 days, since checking/tweaking FIELD wire. no other changes, but it seems to be working MUCH better. ??

thanks for the reply. would appreciate your input on whether BV needs changing.
pete w
s/v kiapa

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:56 am
by Coulomb
The change you made may work forever, or until the state of the batteries changes slightly.

You have exactly the situation we deduced, with battery sense coming from a point that has alternator current flowing in it. You aren't measuring true battery voltage except when no current is flowing so the regulator is not charging the batteries as it should.

Our wiring diagrams are very carefully vetted, and creative deviations from them may or may not work, as you are a witness. Move the battery sense connection to the battery via an in-line fuse as shown on the wiring diagram.

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:24 am
by kiapa
thanks for the help. the BV is now connected directly to the house battery post with an in-line fuse.
we'll monitor things carefully for the next couple months, and advise if we see any further issues.

is there any guideline or range for typical output limits (max amps @ 14.4v at ~70 degrees F) on the genie 12-150??
pete w
s/v kiapa

Re: Genie 12-150, inconsistent output & error mssg's

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:09 pm
by Coulomb
The G150 will stall at just under 200 Amps, so 150 is not excessive as long as the engine is cooled adequately.

See the cooling guide here: